Li Muhao (top) of Shenzhen Aviators goes up for a basket during a match between Shenzhen Aviators and Qingdao Double Star Eagle at the 2019-2020 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, July 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)  Li Muhao (top) of Shenzhen Aviators goes up for a basket during a match between Shenzhen Aviators and Qingdao Double Star Eagle at the 2019-2020 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, July 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)

QINGDAO, China, July 11 (Xinhua) — The Qingdao Eagles beat the Shenzhen Aviators 81-74 in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) here on Saturday to better their chances for the playoffs.

Qingdao and Shenzhen ranked 11th and 13rd respectively in the 20-team league before the game, with 12 teams qualifying for the playoffs after the regular season.

Zhang Chengyu, captain of Qingdao, scored six points in a row after tip off, helping the Eagles to grab a 21-10 lead. Shenzhen narrowed the gap to five points as the first quarter ran out.

Thanks to nine points from Shao Yinglun and two three-pointers from Lin Weihan, Qingdao enlarged the margin to 18 points when the first half ended.

The Eagles maintained a 10-plus lead in the third quarter with different players getting on the scoreboard.

After enhancing its defense, Shenzhen cut the deficit to five points again, but Zhang managed to bag the key four points needed to secure Qingdao’s victory.

Yang Linwei had a team-high 17 points for Shenzhen, while Shen Zijie finished with 15 points and Lu Yiwen added 12 points.

Zhang Chengyu scored a game-high 18 points for Qingdao, while Lin Weihan got 15 points and Shao Yinglun collected 12 points.

“We won the game THROUGH rebounds and defense. Although there were some passing and catching problems in the last quarter as Shenzhen enhanced their defense, we managed to win the game through a team effort,” said Wu Qinglong, coach of Qingdao.

“The responsibility of the loss is on me. The coaching team failed to work out a good plan for this game,” said Shenzhen coach Wang Jianjun. Enditem